From Bloggers to Friends, A Lindy Bop Chat - Principles of BLISS #6

If you frequent social media channels and are a lover of quirky fashion pieces, the brand featured in this next instalment of POB won’t need much of an introduction... Ladies and gents, myself and Tiru only went and interviewed our neighbour Lindy Bop’s Social Media Manager Charlotte Bleasdale! As you can imagine for an ex fashion and beauty blogger like myself, this Principles of BLISS was right up my street. So stick around if you want to read about blogger collaboration, future plans for Lindy Bop, and which Friends character Charlotte has a massive dislike for!

Lindy Bop Logo - BLISS interview


What is a Lindy Bop?

A Lindy Hop is a 50’s style swing dance, Lindy Bop is just a version of that I guess, it’s a nice name for our brand because it’s cute, girly playful and retro.
 

What does your average day look like?
Today is the end of the month so we’ve been doing a monthly report of all social media activity. We look at the number of followers, engagement, reach, we look at referred sales, and referred visits. We’ve also just launched our blog a month ago so we’ve been investigating how that’s been going on. I’ve been working on the email campaigns as well so just looking into how they’re performing. A bit of everything really. I work with a Social Media Assistant who does most of the day to day posting and I give her guidance on content,  what should go out when, writing and planning for the blog. At the moment I’ve got the opportunity to work on homepage designs along with one of our designers. Lots going on!

 

If Lindy Bop was a person online, what would that character be like? What is the brand personality?

We’re actually doing some work on the brand positioning at the moment. There are a lot of directions we could take the brand in, we could take it really retro and vintage, we could take it kind of modern but a bit quirky, we could take it more alternative and rockabilly. There’s also the market which is the guys that actually do the swing dancing - they all wear those style dresses. At the moment the brand is sweet, vintage-inspired, girly and fun! You don’t do men’s clothes? Not at the moment - we do children’s clothes for mini Lindy Boppers. We may branch out in the future, but not for right now.

Interview with Lindy Bop's Marketing
Image courtesy of: Lindy Bop


We did a little bit of LinkedIn stalking (sorry!) and spotted you used to work at JD Williams, but we want to know what other work you did pre-Lindy Bop and if there was anything unrelated to marketing?
I was at JD Williams for 10 years so that has been a BIG chunk of my working life! It’s always been marketing, but I’ve moved through lots of different roles through JD’s. So, I started working on catalogue mailings. Prior to JD’s I worked at a little agency in Leeds called Intermarketing and my clients were home shopping accounts such as Grattan. When I moved to JD’s I worked on a few different brands - there are so many different brands under the JD Williams umbrella, there’s a lot of scope to work on different things. So, I was the only copywriter in the business for a little while, and from doing the copy on the websites, I ended up doing some of the blogs, and then little by little some of the Facebook posts, and from there this morphed into social media, then I ended up recruiting my own social media team, so it’s just sort of grown quite organically from that! I did a year doing PR as well as social media for Simply Be. At JD Williams, there’s a lot of working together with different teams, whereas Lindy Bop it’s a lot more free. Everybody’s all in one room, you can get answers a lot more quickly. So I’ve never really worked outside marketing, but outside my day job I’m in a band, I play bass in a death metal band!
 

What campaigns either at your time at JD Williams or at Lindy Bop are you particularly proud of?
I worked on quite a lot of videos at JD’s, and it’s something we’re going to get onto at Lindy Bop in the fullness of time. We did one video which got blocked by the internal online security system as they classified it as a ‘viral video’. You’re never guaranteed a ‘viral’ success with your video content no matter the idea so it was really great to see.  We worked with Tess Holliday (a very well known plus size model!) on a social media campaign about getting a bikini body (watch the vid here), it got shared a hell of a lot so that’s great. I think that’s one of the things I’m most proud of, as well as Lindy Life, the new Lindy Bop blog, that’s been live a couple of months now. It’s really nice to see content that we have created get 100+ shares. That’s the rewarding thing about social media, the payback is instantaneous. I don’t think you’d be good in the social media realm if you didn’t get a little kick from seeing how the engagement is doing. You don’t get to see results from a blog as much, so to see the share buttons going up is really great. Your customers are extremely loyal, yes? They are, they’re great, we call them Lindy Boppers, some of them REALLY really love it. It’s a great product though, it’s fab value for the quality, there aren’t many places where you can buy a dress as unusual, unique and pretty for around £35, or sometimes even under £30!
 

Do you treat those repeat customers differently in terms of your digital strategy?
It’s something we’d love to do, but the state of our data is not there at the moment, we don’t really have sophisticated data marketing at the moment with Lindy Bop still being quite young, but as we grow that’s something that will be on the cards.


If you could offer one piece of advice for newcomers to the industry, what would it be?
I would say definitely get out there and show that you can do it and that you’re interested! One of the best things is to have a blog, have your own social media channels. It’s brilliant when you’re applying for jobs, you can put your blog link on your CV, they can check you out and they can tell you can write, that you have good ideas, your attention to detail and spelling, all that kind of thing that’s important when you’re representing a brand. These days it’s all out there, if you’re going to recruit someone it’s only natural to get on the internet and do some research.

You touched on good campaigns that you’re proud of; what campaigns or ideas for campaigns didn’t land particularly well, and how did you learn from them?
I think I’ve learnt a lot when it comes to video in terms of it’s not just a matter of ‘if you put it on your YouTube channel they will come’. I’ve read that you should spend at least double the budget sharing your content as you do creating it, but I don’t think a lot of people are in a position to have those sorts of budgets... so things can fall a little bit flat because of that. If you have a brand that people don’t love, it’s also quite hard to get people engaging with you. It’s a very long, slow journey to get in a position of being a ‘cool’ brand. Simply Be have come so far with their brand positioning. If you haven’t got that bit of brand love first, it’s really quite hard to get that lift and engagement.


What is the one thing you would like to achieve in the next 10 months at Lindy Bop?
I would like to get some great video content out there and make the brand a bit more of a household name! It’s not going to be achieved through one single thing, but when I tell people I work at Lindy Bop some say “Oh I love Lindy Bop!” whereas others give me a blank look. I want to get rid of those blank looks! Something else I love about Lindy Bop is the range of sizes we do. I’ve obviously worked on plus size brands all my life, and Lindy Bop provide a range of sizes from a 6 to 26. We used to work with bloggers quite a lot at JD Williams, so it’s something we’ll be doing at Lindy Bop. Plus size ladies always say they want what everyone else wants, they want the dresses the size 6’s wear.. and that’s exactly what Lindy Bop do, the same styles for everyone.


Image courtesy of: Lindy Bop

If Lindy Bop’s top dog said to you “Charlotte, I want to do a video campaign to run on social media, and I want it to be a competition, and you can have as much money as you want”, what would you like to do?
We have a bunch of ideas waiting in the wings! One of which is we think it would be nice to try and break a world record with the Lindy Hop and get a massive field of people doing it. I really like the idea of crowdsourcing clothing too, for example letting our customers vote for clothing designs in different stages (eg. What do you want the sleeves to be like, what do you want the neckline to be, etc). So I would love to have a dress designed by the Lindy Boppers!


Who are the main people you look out for on social media? I (Hanan) always want to hear what people like Caitlin Moran and Fearne Cotton have to say, who are the people you go to?
I love those guys as well! I don’t tend to use Twitter as much as I used to, I’m more of a Pinterest or Tumblr kind of girl, but I love a lot of the plus size bloggers! Any particular ladies or gents stand out to you? Danielle Vanier and Callie Thorpe are great, Bethany Arched-Eyebrow too!


Do you find working in social media, that at the end of the day coming home to writing your own content can be quite tiring?
Yes, definitely. But that’s where being in a band is great, if you’ve had a difficult day you feel way better after you’ve blasted some heavy metal! Blogging in your own time if you work in the industry is definitely a bit of a busman’s holiday, I’ll get back into it at some point though!

 

I (Tiru) have a widget on my laptop called Charlie - he drops me briefings about people before meetings - Charlie told me you’re really into celebrities, comedy and art galleries… who is your male or female celebrity, your favourite comedian / comedienne, and your favourite art gallery to visit?
That is really hard! I really like Aisling Bea. I’ve been to see Stewart Lee, I watch lots of panel shows. I wouldn’t say visiting art galleries is a defined part of my personality, but I do enjoy going to them I guess!
 

I (Hanan) have one more very important question! Everyone has seen Friends. Everybody likes Friends, and I think we can all identify with one character… who would you choose and why?
I Definitely have some Monica tendencies in terms of organisation, but I play guitar so maybe Phoebe? I also really like Chandler, and I really hate Rachel! I don’t get why people hang out with her! She has nice hair, but she’s mean!


And on that note, let’s bring this interview to a close! A big thank you to Charlotte for taking the time to have a natter, it was an absolute pleasure!